Handout Dualism

Handout Dualism - Handout Dualism What are we? One...

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Handout Dualism What are we? One venerable answer [or as students say at the beginning of essays: one view held throughout human history] is that each of us is a non-physical thing somehow connected to a physical body. The non-physical thing is a mind, or, as it is called in some religious traditions, a soul, which can survive the destruction of the body. This view, defended by Descartes, is known as Dualism. Is Dualism defensible? On one plausible interpretation Descartes gives two arguments for Dualism [the second, which we will come to soon, is to be found in the reading from your text by Brie Gertler]. Each argument depends on a principle called Leibnitz Law [after the 17 th Century German philosopher Leibnitz]. Before stating Leibnitz Law it is important to draw a distinction. Suppose I encounter two identical twins. I might say ‘Those two individuals are identical’. What I would mean is that I cannot tell them apart. So far as their perceived qualities go, they are exactly alike. In other words, as it is said, they are qualitatively identical. We need to distinguish qualitative from numerical
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course PHI 107 taught by Professor Mattskene during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

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Handout Dualism - Handout Dualism What are we? One...

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